School bus accident on 33 West

Jeremy Aldrich -- March 4th, 2008

Around 7 AM this morning two Harrisonburg City School Buses were involved in an accident with a white car at the intersection of Dogwood and West Market St. (33 West).  Buses 23 and 32 were involved in the accident.  Several middle and high school students and the driver of the car were taken to the hospital from the scene.  Early reports indicate the student injuries are not life-threatening. Other students who rode on the buses are being examined at school for potential injuries.

16 Responses to “School bus accident on 33 West”

  1. finnegan says:

    Two buses and a car?

    It says three middle school students and four HHS students were taken to the hospital.

    Hope they’re alright.

  2. Emmy says:

    I’m praying that they took them as a precaution! I’m waiting on a co-worker whose daughter goes to Thomas Harrison to see if her daughter is alright. Praying everyone is safe.

  3. finnegan says:

    The DNR just posted this, but no details on the students’ conditions.

    It does say “A dozen more students from the middle school were later taken to the hospital, according to police.”

  4. Emmy says:

    The Superintendent just sent out a mass e-mail which says pretty much what all other reports say. It sounds like all injuries were pretty minor. Thank goodness!

  5. kaceydian says:

    This is my first time commenting on hburgnews.com, so I would like to state, on the record, that any opinions I post are just that: my opinions. They DO NOT reflect or represent the opinions of my employers.

    With that:

    I am shocked at how proud the television station is about “being first on the scene, on the web, and first with news of the accident”. The promotion they are running this morning fails to include “first to incite panic in parents of students. In a situation involving children in the community the question of the newsworthiness of immediately going with what you have or allowing the police and school system to issue statements first, should have been asked. Parents were just being called as TV3 was reporting that 2 buses collided, and injuries were reported.
    I understand in a time where 24-hour news dictates our level of panic, television news departments are competing: Looking to scoop the competition, and working hard to do so. Each time I hear the promotional chant, I don’t get the impression that TV3 is concerned with the interests of the community. I get the distinct feeling that they are using a scary situation as an opportunity to “remind” their watchers that they’re number 1. Good for them, since being number one is more important than making good professional decisions.

    Seems like that is the world we live in so, I guess I can’t really blame them.

    The sensitivity and discretion of a local news department should be paramount when making broadcast decisions, and this “first on the scene, first on the web” promotion is just a little too arrogant for my taste.

  6. finnegan says:

    kaceydian, thanks for the comment. Welcome to the blog.

    If you were news director at TV3, other than not bragging about being first, how would you have handled yesterday’s bus story differently?

    By the way, today’s DNR reports:

    The driver of Harris’ bus, Harold Long, a 70-year-old from Harrisonburg, has been charged with running the intersection’s traffic signal.
    […]
    The crash sent 26 students, a bus driver and the driver of the car to the hospital, police and school officials said. None of the injuries appears to be “major,” officials say.

  7. Gxeremio says:

    kaceydian, thanks for commenting. I think it was a legit breaking news story, and I don’t begrudge WHSV for sending people to the scene so quickly. But you’re right about causing fear among parents. That’s why it was so important to get the bus numbers out there quickly and report as quickly as possible that none of the injuries were life-threatening.

  8. Christa says:

    kaceydian states “I get the distinct feeling that they are using a scary situation as an opportunity to “remind” their watchers that they’re number 1. Good for them, since being number one is more important than making good professional decisions.’
    I think you are being a bit unfair to WHSV. If I had a child on that bus and couldn’t be reached by phone for some reason (ie, jobs not allowing cell phones at work, or not allowing phone calls at all), I would want to find out immediately. Do you have any idea how long it takes these schools to get on the phone and call all these parents? The media is the most efficient way of getting the news out.

  9. kaceydian says:

    Maybe I wasn’t clear….I’m not quite so comfortable with my internet posting skills yet…

    It wasn’t their reporting the day off the incident that caused me to post this morning. It was this morning’s promotional spot that ran after EVERY segment. As I was watching the news this morning, the promo ran so often that I began to question their motives for running the promo, not the story.

    @finnegan: I did have to handle it yesterday morning because I’m filling in for Karl while he’s on vacation. The fact is, I’ve been trained to fact check before going to air, and I personally did not feel comfortable about reporting preliminary information. I conceed: I am not as talented at news gathering as Mr. Magenhoffer is, and am far from being experienced in this industry; so in answer to your question, if I had the information as quickly as TV3 did, I would have reported it as a traffic incident. I don’t have the advantage of video of the incident, and a crew to send out at the drop of the scanner, so my perspective is definately flawed: something just didn’t feel right about that promo this morning.

    @Gxeremio: Nor do I…I would have sent a team to the scene as well if I had one. Not to be redundant but when kids are involved, the rules change a little for me.

    @Christa: my humble response to your response:

    “If I had a child on that bus and couldn’t be reached by phone for some reason (ie, jobs not allowing cell phones at work, or not allowing phone calls at all), I would want to find out immediately. Do you have any idea how long it takes these schools to get on the phone and call all these parents? The media is the most efficient way of getting the news out.”

    -It’s scary to think that a working parent may not be able to be contacted in case of an emergency concerning their child. I would not find it acceptable if my employer prevented me from receiving emergency information about my child. I know it may not always be the case, but parents should ALWAYS be contact-able in an emergency situation, don’t you agree?
    -How long does it take? I’ve never been on that side of an emergency before. I would guess that depends on who’s dialing and how accesable the parents make themselves…
    -As for the media side of things, Are they (media in general)efficent? maybe. Accurate? not always…and while I don’t have children of my own, I can say with certainty that I do NOT want to hear about someone I love being injured from the television BEFORE I hear it from authorities involved.

    Just to reiterate, It was the self-promotion that irritated me most, not the reporting by TV3 on the day of the incident. While I question how quickly they went to press with the news of injuries, I was only truly bothered by the promotions they assaulted me with this morning.

    thanks to all for making a touchy topic a pleasant discussion…

    I’ve seen how this can get out of hand sometimes, I truly appreciate a candid but mature discussion any day of the week.
    -K

  10. marina Zudilin says:

    my little brother was on dat bus and so was I,he was the most hurt,breaking his collarbone and other pains,,our bus driver always goes fast and 1 time we almost flipped cuz he went on the sidewalk..i told my mom ,mom 1 day we r gonan crash i dnt mean it but ye on da day of da crash we were running late i told my bro 2 hurry up,i wish we never did or else he would be fine now,he sat on da same side the bus got hit and flew 2 the left,,,
    i hit my head and flew to the right,I just never been in an accident be 4,and u never know whn those things come to ur life so live ur life as it were ur last day,cuz i had no idea it was gonna happen 2 me,i am the sister of alex zudilin dat goes 2 thomas harrison middle school and im a senior at HHS.plz pray 4 all the student and especialy my bro 2 get better,b/c of da accident he will probably have 2 take summer school cuz he cant come back 2 skewl,..thnkz u God bless every 1!

  11. I hope your brother will be OK Marina. We all all keep him in our prayers.

  12. That’s, we will all keep him in our prayers.

  13. Gxeremio says:

    Marina thanks for putting up a comment. We all wish Alex the best. Thanks for your good reminder and I’m glad you two are both going to be okay.

  14. marina Zudilin says:

    thnkz so much,just knowing people care and pray,helps all of us cope and not give up.ye he can move a little byhimself now,getting better.

  15. marina_zudilin says:

    thkz every 1 4 praying because my brother is doing just fine :)<3his sister

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